THE FLIGHT OF THE SUNFLOWER by Melissa Bourbon Ramirez


Age Range: 6 - 8
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Language and metaphor equally strained, this overwrought tale of a seed’s roundabout journey to a “beautiful home and miraculous life” not far from its mother is likely to seem more silly than inspiring to its intended audience, while just leaving younger readers confused. A “gentle breeze” (or a “mighty wind,” depending on the page) plucks a sunflower seed from its mother, carries it past a field, a garden, a desert (where it converses with “granules” of sand), the ocean, and into clouds before abruptly reversing course, conveying it back over the same territory. Cautioning, “you cannot live in your mother’s shadow forever. She has given you her strength and her beauty and her power. Now you must take those things and learn to grow strong on your own,” the wind drops the seed near its starting point. Takvorian illustrates the seed’s sojourn with spattered, impressionistic compositions in dark orange and green, effectively representing the wind with combed swirls of white but, perhaps wisely, leaving readers to visualize clouds and sand waving goodbye to the departing seed. Other seeds make journeys that are more plausible in tales like Eric Carle’s Tiny Seed (1987); for readers about to leave the nest and contemplating the possibilities in their own immediate futures, this is unlikely to be one of the Places They’ll Go. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-9700863-0-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: All About Kids
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2002